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But digital music services such as Pandora and Sirius XM read the legal idiosyncrasy as a hook to withhold from artists and rights holders any payment for recordings made before 1972. It is quite obvious that without the music, there are no music services. And it shouldn’t take a lawsuit, or a bipartisan bill introduced in Congress last week, to make it clear that businesses that include pre-1972 recordings in the playlists they deliver to their customers should pay the creators who brought those recordings to life.
A band’s artistry is the culmination of years of work and decades of collective knowledge. It is wrong to laud the know-how behind a technology, or shower executives with stock options, but disregard the genius captured in a recording.
I hope all those who are part of the 21st century music marketplace will honor the fundamental rights of artists and rights holders so that services, creators and music fans can reap the benefits the Internet has to offer.
T Bone Burnett is a 13-time Grammy Award-winning musician, songwriter and soundtrack and record producer.